Monday, June 6, 2011

Art Linkletter Got It Right

Art Linkletter began his TV show "House Party" the year I was born and ended it the year I graduated from high school.  He was like a down-to-earth, fun-loving uncle who visited our living room for a half hour every afternoon, and I remember him fondly along with Miss Virginia ("Romper Room"), Whizzo the Clown, Mickey Mouse, and those other innocent, loveable staples of weekday TV in the '50s and '60s.

At the end of every episode, Art would drag his microphone over to where several spit-and-polished elementary-age school kids were sitting and "interview" them using questions that often provoked hilarious answers.  (You can see some of these on YouTube.)  This segment became wildly popular, leading to Kids Say the Darndest Things, the title of a later program Art co-hosted with Bill Cosby as well as of a book-length collection of the funny answers children had given on these shows.  Over time the name "Art Linkletter" became synonymous with his observation that, indeed, "kids say the darndest things." 

The past few days I have been thinking what a great "House Party" guest Sooby would have made at her present age of three years and eleven months.  I honestly can't imagine where she gets some of the off-the-wall things she comes up with.  Here are a few examples from just last week:

  • We are eating barbecued ribs with my parents on my birthday.  Sooby is scraping the sauce off all the ribs on the serving plate.  She announces that she really likes this "ham icing."
  • One night at bedtime, we are singing "How Much Is That Doggie in the Window."  She insists on the following substitutions:  "How much is that doggie in the office--the one with the flag in his mouth."  (At least she got the meter right.)
  • I ask her if she wants some ice cream on her strawberry shortcake.  "No," she says, "it hurts my brain."
  • She is helping me mix the batter for my birthday cake.  I let her break the eggs.  She says she is "hatching" them.
  • She hands me a piece of paper and says it is a "mysterious invitation."  Later, she uses the verb "transform."  Where did those big words come from?
Art Linkletter may have interviewed some 23,000 children during his TV career, but I will hazard a guess that he never met one quite like Sooby.  She says the darndest things.  Art died just last year, but if he and Sooby had crossed paths, I am pretty sure they would have hit it off. 


  1. OMGoodness I remember Romper Room too

    HAM ICING : Love it; this cracked me up!

    They are all funny but I think that's got to be the best!

  2. You do have to wonder where she came up with the dog holding a flag??! She will love reading these years from now.

  3. I think your Sooby and Our Little Princess would be great friends. They sound very similar in intelligence and temperament. And, they're about the same age. I am continually amazed at the things she says.

    Stopping by from GRAND Social linky.

  4. Yep, the darnedest things. I've tried to keep track of some of the "Bubbyisms" that come out of Bubby's mouth by immediately noting them in my phone for later copying to the computer. Love the "It hurts my brain"! So much like something Bubby would say to get out of eating something he didn't want.

    Thank you for linking to GRAND Social!

  5. Too funny! I have tried to remember the funny things mine say but I forget in a minute or two if I don't write it down right away. Ham icing is pretty cute!